Despite the failure of the national automobile industry development plan, Vietnamese companies have never given up the dream of making cars.
Bui Ngoc Huyen, general director of Vinaxuki, a Vietnamese auto manufacturer, said the biggest problem for Vietnamese manufacturers is the difficulty in accessing financial sources.
It is very difficult for businesses to borrow money for long time and at low interest rates. Vinaxuki, for example, has to have commercial loans with interest rates of up to 20 percent.
Huyen said that if manufacturers can arrange capital, making Vietnamese branded cars would not be too difficult.
With powerful financial capability, manufacturers can hire the world’s leading design centers to design car models and attract high-quality specialists.
When the designs are completed, it is necessary to make a prototype and then a chassis.
A chassis production line, run with high accuracy and productivity, can be imported for several hundreds of millions of dollars. Some Vietnamese enterprises are considering importing modern production lines which are completely automatic, with robots and dozens of workers.
Also according to Huyen, with the chassis, some car parts and assembling, painting and examining lines, the localization ratio may reach 50 percent.
If manufacturers want to have locally made content ratio of 60 percent and more, they need to manufacture engines. As the era of electric-run cars has arrived, it will be better to strive to develop electricity engines.
Nguyen Minh Dong, former designer of Volkswagen, commented that there are favorable conditions for purchasing automotive technology, from design to chassis, from software to motors. If manufacturers have powerful financial capability, they can buy advanced technologies and hire talented specialists.
The important thing is to have the design of the whole car. “Each car contains tens of thousands of car parts. You can’t just buy car parts and assemble them to make a fully worked out car. There must be standards and compatibility,” he explained. “Parts need to operate in harmony and fit together to obtain the desired performance.”
Therefore, he thinks that manufacturers need to cooperate with a strategic partner to receive technology transfer, support in design and help in selecting car part suppliers.
“After technology transfer, manufacturers need to develop products and new independent technologies in accordance with their directions and strategies,” he said.
An automobile engineer pointed out that Vietnam-made cars, when they come out, will have weak brands. Therefore, he suggested it would be better to choose well-known car part suppliers.
“The fame of the suppliers will help with the marketing for cars,” he said.